How To Make Remembrance Day Memorable
Nov 10, 2022 by Julia Van Huizen
Updated: Sep 23, 2023
It's Remembrance Day today, and if I'm honest, it hasn't always been a very big deal to me. Like anything that doesn't hit "close to home," you can sometimes become a little desensitized toward such things.
I feel bad saying that. Because I know "in my head" that people in the past paid a huge price for the freedom I have today.
Wanting to Remember...
In a way, it's not such a horrible thing if Remembrance Day doesn't hit us too hard. Because it shows us just how good we have it. How well Canadians fought for our freedom. We are so free, that war doesn't even cross our minds. We are so free, that our children can play in safety. We are so free that we can walk down the street without worrying for our lives.
BUT I want to remember.... I don't want to forget. I want to feel grateful for the sacrifice of the people before me who went through unimaginable experiences so that my children and I get to live in peace today.
Just "Picture" It
I came across this picture the other day, and it stopped me in my tracks, for it was such a clear picture of the very experience I'm talking about:
Our freedom is held up because of the soldiers who paid the price. Some of them lost friends. Their peace. Worse of all, some lost their lives. And today, I don't want to be oblivious to that fact.
And so I imagine. I imagine what it would have been like to be an 18-year-old--a mere boy--who left his hometown with spunk and vigour and returned a broken man. I envision the moms who received telegraphs, telling them their sweet sons had died. I picture what it would have been like to be face-to-face with people you were commanded to kill... and then have to live the rest of your life with that knowledge.
To truly make Remembrance Day memorable, we can imagine. We can put ourselves in the shoes of all those who lived before us and paid a price.
Living out of Freedom
But we shouldn't stay there. Because they died, so we can live.
Live. And live we should! Just as Jesus' death bought our freedom, we are called to live our lives well and with joy, with generosity and with purpose. Jesus said, "I have come that [you] may have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
So today, let's live! And let's pray as well. Pray for those in our world who do not yet live in the safety and freedom that we get to experience in Canada. Pray for our brothers and sisters who still experience war and strife on a daily basis. And let's imagine what it must be like for them so that we continue to fight for their justice as those before us fought for ours.
This Remembrance Day, make it a memorable one: Imagine. Live. Pray. And the deaths of those who fought for us will not have been in vain.